On this date in 1988, wha some consider one of the best years in Hip Hop, Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay released their fourth full length studio album Tougher Than Leather on the Profile imprint.
Produced primarily by Rick Rubin, Davy D and the group themselves, the Hollis Crew’s fourth LP was heavy on sampling and even saw some changes in the lyrical styles of DJ Run and Daryll Mac. Even though the album wasn’t as popular as the preceding Raising Hell LP, it certainly spawned a few classic singles including the Bob James’ “Nautilus” driven “Beats To The Rhyme, “Mary Mary” and what would become the title and theme song for the Simmons’ family reality show, “Run’s House”.
A crime-filled drama of the same name accompanied the album about six months after its release, further solidifying the album’s staying power and eventual platinum success.
Salute to Run, D.M.C., JMJ(RIP), Rick Rubin and everyone who was a part of this timeless piece of Hip Hop history!
On this day in Hip Hop history 31 years ago, Ice Cube released his debut solo album Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. Following the tragic break up of N.W.A., this album’s unexpected commercial and critical success not only set the tone for Ice Cube’s solo career but was also a launching pad toward success.
Being able to peak at #19 on the Billboard 200 and be certified platinum in the year if it’s release all while staying true to the hardcore gangsta sound that is prevalent in all of his other work shows, that since the beginning Ice Cube has been a force to be reckoned with. His lyrical style and choice of subject matter force the commercial music world to be comfortable with a narrative uncommon to the majority of those who would consider themselves fans of the work. With this album Ice Cube is able to paint a vivid and accurate picture of his particular experiences as an artist in the process of making it out of Compton yet still thriving as a product of the said environment.
Unlike his previous NWA cuts, Ice Cube is able to get a little more theatrical with the delivery of his message while remaining just as straight forward. From the title of the project to the outro, it is prominent that Ice Cube had no intention of sugar-coating what he had to say. The violently righteous theme of this album shook the rap world showing a more militant side to the consciousness movement going on in the early 1990s. Cube even worked with Public Enemy’s production team The Bomb Squad to harness the high-energy sound that paired perfect with his flow.
Critically, this album is held on a pedestal with some the best selling and most respected projects in Hip Hop. It has been ranked on a plethora of “Best of All Time” and “Best of the 1990s” lists by publications in the US, Canada, and all over Europe. The album has been awarded 5 out of 5 ratings from The Source, Rolling Stone, Allmusic, and The Austin Chronicle.
Following this album, Ice Cube wen ton to grow to be the mega-star he is today. He released eight solo studio albums and has no plans on stopping anytime soon. He also took his talent to the screen as an actor, writer, and director.
35 years ago, amidst the explosion of crack cocaine in the inner cities, one of the hottest albums from the Hollis Crew came out and further solidified their status of royalty in the world of Hip Hop. Today Run-D.M.C.’s third album celebrates its born day.
Raising Hell was the album that exposed Run, D, and Jam Master Jay to mainstream America and made them household names. Songs like “It’s Tricky” and the monumental “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith were heard on both urban and top 40 stations around the country and the globe. As trendsetters, they made Adidas with fat laces and even no laces a worldwide fashion statement with the song “My Adidas”. This recognition earned the trio a multimillion-dollar deal with Adidas, which was unprecedented for musicians of any kind at the time.
TheSource.com salutes Run-D.M.C. for this piece of Hip Hop history!
On this date in 2002, Dipset General Cam’Ron kept the Harlem legacy rolling when he dropped his third solo album aptly entitled Come Home With Me on the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam imprint.
This was the Harlem natives first release under the Roc-A-Fella banner and coincidentally, his most critically acclaimed full-length release to date, being Cam’s only certified platinum album to date. The album features include rap heavyweights such as The Diplomats, DJ Kay Slay, Daz Dillinger, label head Jay-Z as well as labelmates Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel.
This 15-track banger released a slew of hard-hitting singles including the infectious “Oh Boy”, which led the soulful voice-sampling revolution, the mainstream hit “Hey Ma” and the only song ever recorded with Jigga before their highly publicized fallout “Welcome To New York City”.
Thanks to Cam, Jim, Juelz, Freekey, Just Blaze and Kanye West for their production and everyone else involved in creating this timeless Hip Hop classic!
Happy 52nd Birthday Parrish J. Smith, better known as “PMD”, one half of EPMD
EPMD, the famous duo from Brentwood, Long Island, New York, is an acronym that stands for “Erick and Parrish Making Dollars”. The group has been together for more than three decades from the infamous breakup in the mid 1990s. They are one of the most prominent acts to grace the culture of Hip Hop.
After the very public split of the group because of various reasons, PMD continued to navigate the careers of Hip Hop icons Das EFX, who he was responsible for finding, before eventually making amends with Erick Sermon to make another classic EPMD album at the turn of the millennium.
Parrish Smith continues to be a recognizable force within the structure of Hip Hop’s movers and shakers and his contributions will be forever etched in stone.
Salute to PMD on his born day as we here at The Source wish him a happy one and many more!
Being one of the first albums to earned the coveted ‘Five Mics’ from The Source magazine, De La Soul Is Dead marked a change in direction for De La Soul. Although the title would suggest the end of the group as a whole, instead the meaning behind the album’s cryptic title is an allusion to the ‘death’ of this old style. Through this album, De La Soul began to separate themselves from their previous pseudo-1960 flower-child aesthetic that was set up by their popular debut. The title also represents the group’s separation from mainstream Hip Hop.
Regardless of the fact the group stuck to their skit heavy, storytelling structure, critics and charts were all but kind to this album. Unlike their uber-successful debut, De La Soul is Dead did not appear on any charts and was not recognized as a good album until years after it’s release. In the late 90s however, the album rose to critical acclaim when publications realized the impact the album had on the careers of De La Soul and Hip Hop as a whole. The album has been ranked by Rolling Stone, The Source, Pitchfork Media, and others as one of the greatest albums, regardless of genre, of the 1990s.
Following this album, De La Soul went on to be one of the most respected rap groups of their generation. The rebranding that came from De La Soul is dead allowed for De LA Soul to cross over as artists into the realm of respected artistry rather than a continuing their career riding the wave set by their debut.
The four-man crew from Jamaica, Queens dropped their crossover hit single on this date in 1993
On May 10, 1993, Big DS, Sonny Seeza, Fredro, and Sticky released “Slam”, the smash hit from Onyx’s debut album, Bacdafucup.
The song’s chorus was the crew’s own remix of “The Champ” by The Mohawks. As one of the album’s most propelling singles, Slam ventured into heavy metal and punk rock’s “slamdance” culture, featuring a violent mosh pit in the song’s video. Onyx even did a remix of Slam with heavy metal giants Biohazard. This platinum single has appeared on TV as well as the silver screen, with Meth and Red using the amp-up track for their How High flick.
Salute to Onyx, Def Jam, and everyone involved with this track!
On this day in 1970, rapper/actor Dennis Coles akaGhostface Killah was born. The chamber of eccentricity comes almost exclusively from Tony Starks, who has been compared to the likes of Slick Rick with his signature, six inch high eagle bracelet and other excessively gaudy jewels.
At the foundation of the Wu saga, Ghost’s face was unseen and wasn’t revealed until the Chef’s Only Built For Cuban Linx classic “Purple Tape”. With ten solid solo albums under his belt, Ghostdini continues to impact the game along with his WTC family. Look out for his forthcoming album this year entitled Supreme Clientele Presents… Blue & Cream: The Wally Era and the anticipated Wu covert comeback project called A Better Tomorrow.
The Source Magazine would like to send a super shout out to the “Ironman” of Hip Hop on his degree day! Enjoy!
Today (May 6)Meek Mill turns 34. The Philly rapper entered the game less than ten years ago, but has since risen to the top of the rap game with his four albums, Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams Worth More Than Money, Wins And Losses, Championships, and his many mixtapes, including the Dream Chasers series.
Needless to say, his advocacy for prison reform on top of his philanthropic work over the past few years has positioned Meek to be one of Hip Hop’s most prolific, yet unrecognized artists of the new millennium. Despite his legal issues and feuds with some of the best in the game, Meek has managed to maintain his relevance.
With the success of his Free Meek documentary on Prime Video as well as the recent addition to his family, Robert Rhimeek Williams is Hip Hop’s reminder that we are always bigger than out circumstances.
This CD is one of those that you don’t get often. It had incredible and intensely clever wordplay, and was great for the culture because of the positive support it showed for hip hop. Back then everyone thought hip-hop was rap music and rap music was gangsta. It made people think twice before making an assumption like that. Any hip-hop purist who enjoys freestyles and great rhymes that make you think then this is the album for you.